Apparently it’s ice cream week at the Maynards! I seriously wasn’t planning on making more ice cream…and then I did. My girls wanted strawberry ice cream. How could I say no?
Since the first two Cook’s Illustrated ice cream recipes were such delicious successes, I went ahead and used their strawberry recipe as well. It’s a small labor of love, but it was worth it. And the girls helped me out with a bunch of the steps, which was really helpful and fun!
The girls both declared without hesitation that this was their favorite homemade ice cream so far. I still think it’s a three-way tie between chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but the strawberry ice cream was pretty darn amazing and perfect for summertime!
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (3¼ cups) (Jane note: I will slice AND chop the strawberries next time. Even with all our mashing there were still some pretty big strawberry chunks in the final product that I would have liked to be smaller)
- 1¼ cups sugar
- Pinch salt
- ⅓ cups heavy cream
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons vodka (Jane note: left this out because I didn't have it)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine strawberries, ½ cup sugar and salt in bowl. Mash berries gently with potato masher until slightly broken down. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until berries have released their juice and sugar has dissolved, 40-45 minutes. (Jane note: like I said, we mashed a lot - I think smaller berry pieces are better - and I also think my berries only sat for about 30 minutes - I made sure the sugar was dissolved, but I don't think they sat as long as 40 minutes.)
- Place fine-mesh strainer over medium bowl and set over larger bowl of ice water. Combine cream, milk and ½ cup sugar in medium saucepan. (Jane note: I also added ¼ teaspoon of salt to the cream mixture at this point.) Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occaionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. (Jane note: as soon as we hit 175 I took it off - it wasn't steaming all that much)
- While cream mixture heats, whisk egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk half of heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, ½ cup at a time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7-14 minutes. (Jane note: I never hit 180...it got stuck around 177 and was taking forever, but figured we were good and everything seemed to work fine.) Immediately strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and let cool over bowl of ice water to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- While custard is cooling, transfer berries to medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are softened and broken down, about 3 minutes. Strain berries, reserving juice. Transfer berries to small bowl, stir in vodka and lemon juice, then let cool to room temp, cover, and refrigerate until cool. Stir vanilla and reserved juice into cooled custard, cover and refrigerate until custard registeres 40 degrees, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. (Jane note: We were too impatient to wait for 40 degrees - we waited at least 3 hours and then went for it. The custard was definitely cool, so I figured it would be okay. And, it was.)
- Transfer custard to ice-cream machine and churn until mixture resembles thick soft-serve ice cream, 25-30 minutes. Add berries and continue to churcn until fully incoporated and berries are slightly broken down, about 1 minute. Transfer ice cream to a chilled airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. (Jane note: or just eat it right away because it's awesome ANY time!)